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The Greatest Scientist TV Characters 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated June 14, 2019 17.5k votes 1.5k voters 20k views 60 items

List Rules Fictional professional or amateur scientist TV characters - no medical doctors (or real scientists!)

The best scientists in TV history run the gamut from dependable pragmatists (Agent Scully, The X-files), to socially inept academics (Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory), to imminently gifted inventors with creepy fetishes (Dr. Krieger, Archer). Then there are those great TV scientists who have a simple bent on world destruction and/or domination, but we’ll get to them later.

TV’s greatest scientists instill a sense of wonder in the universe. From Saturday morning programming, like Beakman’s World, to prime-time cable-vision, these towering intellects open a window to the awe-inspiring possibilities of the space-time continuum. Whether through breaking down the barriers in intercultural understanding (Star Trek), or through crafting a transistor radio out of coconuts (The Professor, Gilligan’s Island), watchers feel smarter just being in their company.

However, the darker side of science can instill a feeling of terror in most viewers. One great TV scientist managed to turn the periodic table into something (even more) sinister (Walter White, Breaking Bad); another great mind uncovered the devastation wrought by a simple virus – one beyond his own capability to cure (Edwin Jenner, The Walking Dead). And we haven’t even touched on shape-shifting mass (Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk), or crafting explosives from the contents of one’s trashcan (Mac MacGyver, MacGyver).

The best TV scientists introduce us to new worlds (Lost in Space) and old ones (PrimEval), use their knowledge to combat evil (Juliet Parrish, V), and spend an inordinate amount of time explaining that they are “not that kind of doctor” (Ross Gellar, Friends).

Vote up your favorite smart characters on this TV scientists list to determine the best fictional scientist on TV.
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list ordered by
1
Spock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Science Officer
2
Gaius Baltar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Battlestar Galactica
Computer Scientist
3
Sam Beckett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Quantum Leap
Quantum Physicist
4
Leonard McCoy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series
Physician
5
Montgomery Scott is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Montgomery Scott Star Trek: The Animated Series
Engineer
6
Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
BartMark added Smallville
Mad Scientist
7
Dr. David Bruce Banner ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Incredible Hulk
Nuclear Physicist
8
Dr Krieger is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Archer
Inventor
9
Angus "Mac" Ma... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Angus "Mac" MacGyver MacGyver
Engineer
10
Maximillian Arturo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Sliders
Physicist
11
Professor Farnsworth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Futurama
Inventor
12
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
slaft added M*A*S*H
13
Samantha Carter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Stargate SG-1
Astrophysicist
14
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Dexter's Laboratory
Mad Scientist
15
The Doctor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Doctor Who
Quantum Physicist
16
Gil Grissom is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
analise.dubner added CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
17
Beaker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
18
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Breaking Bad
Chemist
19
Temperance "Bones&q... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gabby Gellerman added bones
20
Data is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Science Officer
21
Bunsen Honeydew is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
The Muppet Show
Chemist
22
Walter Bishop is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Fringe
Mad Scientist
23
Raven Reyes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
ceset added The 100
24
The Professor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
Gilligan's Island
Inventor, Engineer
25
Dr. Quest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Scientist TV Characters
bruce-adams added Jonny Quest